Thursday, January 21, 2016

"An Insane Female of interesting appearance"

In January 1829, reports appeared concerning a Bovina woman, believed to be insane. The January 7, 1829 Delaware Gazette carried a report from a Catskill newspaper about her situation - and criticized the Bovina overseers of the poor in the process:

Here's the transcript:

A day or two since (says the Catskill Recorder of the 1st inst.) an insane female, of interesting appearance, apparently about 18 or 20 years of age, was observed in our streets, followed, as is too frequently the case, by a company of thoughtless boys. In the course of the day she was discovered by a gentleman who was passing near the creek, on the ice, which was at that time considered unsafe. She stated that she was on her way to Lansingburgh. With some difficulty she was prevailed on to come on shore, though not until the ice had given way with her, though fortunately in shoal water. We have since ascertained that her name is Jane Patterson, from Bovina, Delaware county, from whence she has made her way on foot, in this inclement season of the year. On Tuesday, her brother, in company with Mr. John Thompson, of Delaware, (whose humanity cannot be too highly commended) overtook and conveyed her back to Bovina, her native place. It reflects but little credit on the overseers of the poor in that town, that she has been allowed, as we are credibly informed she has been, to go at large for several weeks. Such objects are truly deserving our pity, and too much attention cannot be paid to their comfort.

It is possible that this Jane Patterson is the woman who married Peter Dysart and was the mother of one of Bovina's Civil War fatalities, Robert Dysart. Robert would father a child with Eleanor Thompson, the daughter of John R. Thompson. Could this be the same John mentioned in the news article? Who knows? More information about the Dysarts can be found in this blog at for December 20, 2013:

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